Welcome back to the Alley in the New Year, readers! We have survived the apocalypse, which is good because otherwise all the new content, features, and event we're rolling out in 2013 wouldn't be happening. Seriously, we have some good things for you in 2013, beginning with the inaugural Alley Reads day this Wednesday, January 9!

Here is a reminder on the details....

The Book -- The Big Smoke by Cally Jackson

The description, taken from Jackson's own website:

"Ceara’s desperate for love; Seb’s desperate to get laid. Ceara adores reading novels; Seb hasn’t finished a book in years. Two strangers, both moving from small country towns to Brisbane – the big smoke. As they prepare to attend the same university, their paths seem set to collide, but they keep missing each other. Maybe fate is keeping them apart, or maybe it’s just chance.
When the semester starts, things get complicated. Ceara’s best friend withdraws from her, Seb’s closest mate turns into a sleazebag, and the relentless demands of university make their stress levels soar. Before their first semester is over, both Seb and Ceara will be forced to question who they are and what they want from their lives. Will they have the courage to find the answers, or will they crumble under the pressure? And when they finally meet, will it be love at first sight or a collision of headstrong personalities?”

You can buy an e-copy of The Big Smoke from Amazon and Smashwords, as well as iBooks, Kobo, Nook, and Diesel Books for just $2.99.

If you're just now buying the book, don't feel intimidated by the length. It's an engaging read, and you won't want to put it down, so just embrace that & get lost in the story until Wednesday! If you've already read Jackson's The Big Smoke, even if not for this purpose, please still swing back by the Alley on Wednesday to talk all about it.

The Discussion -- All Day, Happening Here in the Comments

To discuss The Big Smoke, just return to the Alley on Wednesday,January 9 where I will kick-off a comment thread chat with a post about my thoughts & discussion questions. The comment thread discussion will be open all day, and the post content will be refreshed every few hours as your discussion moves us forward. It's perfect because we can all stop by at our own convenience, and share our thoughts about any discussion taking place.

Please tweet about this event to your followers, encouraging them to join in on the reading madness this week here in the Alley.

Have a happy Monday! I'm around all week here and on the Twitter blog account, and we have plenty of new content kicking off the rest of this week. Don't forget: read & return on Wednesday, January 7!

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